Daniel Eran Dilger
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The Big Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Attack

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Over the last century, a pattern of exaggerated economic downturns related to corruption and fraud in the market and in banking has repeated at regular intervals. Here’s the historical context of what’s happening today with Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac.
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Roaring to a Crash.

In the Roaring 1920s, cheap credit accelerated growth while creating new levels of debt for consumers and businesses. As in any game, without any regulation governing the market to keep things fair, participants were motivated by wild profits to cheat the market, selling worthless stock in sham companies, willfully exaggerating the prospects of real companies to investors, and encouraging the purchase of securities using overextended debt with with the assurance that the market wouldn’t ever go down.

The realization of how much debt was behind bad stock caused both consumers and businesses to scale back their purchasing plans. That created slack demand that resulted in deflation. When stock prices fell with everything else, indebted stockholders ended up owning worthless paper they still owed money for. Defaults on loans resulted in bank failures, so that even people who had invested in relatively safe financial institutions lost their money. Cheaters had played the game until it failed, and everyone else lost out.

The Introduction of New Regulation

As credit collapsed, panicked consumers stopped buying and businesses scaled back, firing workers, which helped to amplify the feedback loop of slow consumer spending, resulting in years of the Great Depression. President Franklin Roosevelt introduced the New Deal to socialize economic risk and police the markets from fraud.

In the early 30s, the New Deal set up measures to regulate the market and banking, including the FDIC to insure bank depositors against bank failures, new banking regulations that limited how banks could lend money, and the creation the SEC to police securities fraud. Among other things, the SEC required public companies to publish regular, detailed accounting reports so that investors could make informed decisions.

Savings & Loan institutions, which had functioned as local savings and mortgage institutions, lacked the same regulation as banks but were also limited from many of the activities of banks.

Money Supply and Demand.

Over the following four decades, regular up and down market cycles occurred without repeating the absolute bust of the Depression. Economists created models that contrasted inflation with economic growth. The consensus was that as prices rise, businesses will invest in expansion, creating jobs that will result in new spending, causing prices to rise. Limited inflation would help stoke economic growth.

Governments attempted to regulate inflation and growth by balancing supply and demand in monetary policy, keeping inflation in balance with the growth of the economy. Print new money (add to the money supply) and inflation starts to take off as the money in circulation becomes worth increasingly less; raise interest rates (depress the money supply) and inflation should scale back.

In the 70s however, high oil prices from the Middle East resulted in uncontrollable inflation that outstripped economic growth; prices began to rise due to high fuel costs even as the economy began to stagnate, resulting in a strange new beast called stagflation, a phenomenon that couldn’t be steered out of by printing money or by loosening credit.

Lots of things were tried to shake off the ugly anchor of stagflation. President Nixon tried to fix prices, while under President Carter rules were relaxed on S&Ls in order to make them more competitive. S&Ls ended up with many of the same rights as banks and gained full Federal insurance on deposits, but were not put under the same regulations as banks.

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Reagan’s Socialism for the Rich.

Under President Reagan in the 80s, the economic problems of the prior decade were blamed on the economic regulations that attempted to keep the market functional and honest since the New Deal, rather than upon US dependance upon foreign oil, an essential commodity with a price set by a cartel.

Rather than seeking to free the US from enslavement to foreign oil, Reagan oversaw the removal of regulatory oversight, allowing market professionals to rapidly syphon wealth from the market. This created new wealth and prosperity for the well connected, while creating exaggerated economic risk that would end up being thrown upon taxpayers.

Reagan Era deregulation particularly manipulated the S&L industry, which was now backed up by full Federal insurance on deposits while being free from the regulatory oversight on regular banks.

Rather than being free market economics that trickled down to the poor, Reagan-era deregulation set up a socialist elite system where members of the elite class got a free, insured ride to profit from high risk investments while the rest of the nation was expected to suffer the brunt of the high risk revolution without complaint and only gain any benefit from their labor that might trickle down out of the excess of profits from high above.

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United States public debt – Wikipedia

A Third Political Party.

This worked so well for the rich that it converted a large segment of affluent liberal democrats into “NeoConservatives,” who began to believe that fantasy was better than reality, that rules should only apply to little people, and that government should only socialize the cost of things that benefit the affluent elite class, leaving the working class without education, healthcare and other opportunities that had, up until Reagan, been celebrated facets of the American Dream for everyone.

Previously, conservative thought was associated with small government and fiscal responsibility. Under Reagan, US public debt exploded (above) as the government increasingly worked to socialize the costs of serving corporations overseas and policing their interests. Regan waged an expensive war against an imagined enemy in the USSR, which had been in diplomatic talks with the US since Nixon. By focusing the nation on war talk, Reagan could perpetuate socialism for the elite while dismantling consumer protection and abandoning rules that protected honesty in the market.

The American Dream was replaced with nightmarish fear around anything that might benefit the working or even the middle class. The country was satiated with “anti-socialist” messages while promoting pure socialist fantasy for the affluent, privileged elite. American was on the road to fascism, the very direction of the country before World War II demonstrated how dangerous that could be. The rich would get richer while the poor would be called upon to assume all their risk. This sham would fall apart before Reagan even left office.

The S&L Deregulation Scandal.

Charles Keating of the Lincoln S&L of California took the lead in making increasingly risky investments in junk bonds and real estate investments, where the risk of failure was socialized by Federal insurance in case of default, but where the potential for profits were unrestricted by the regulations that controlled the banking industry. This “socialism for the rich through deregulation” plan was pushed forward by Senator Phil Gramm, a Democrat turned Republican under Reagan.

When regulators at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board began to push for new rules to limit risky S&L investments being made under Federal insurance, Keating called for support from five Senators who he had bathed in campaign contributions and perks, and insisted they stop regulators from controlling his ability to make windfall profits with zero risk.

As the S&L profiteering on Federally insured, high risk investments began to fall out of control, an investigation into the “Keating 5” Senators began in the late 80s. Details weren’t revealed to taxpayers and voters until Reagan’s successor, President George H W Bush, was elected. Then the S&Ls collapsed, leaving the Federal government to pay for the damages.

Keating went to jail and the political careers of all but two of the Keating 5 Senators ended: John Glenn and John McCain were merely criticized in the investigation for using bad judgement; the rest were charged with interfering with federal oversight of Keating’s S&L activities.

Energy and Banking Deregulation Scandals.

The impact of the government paying out $150 billion to prop up depositors of the 747 failed S&Ls resulted in budget deficits and a drag on the economy that caused the 1990 recession. It also disgraced President Bush and ushered in the Clinton administration, which subsequently presided over the longest peacetime expansion of US history. In the Senate however, Gramm continued his efforts to deregulate banking and energy under “reform” laws that stripped away Depression Era regulations.

The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (“the Enron loophole”) deregulated the energy industry, giving the elite the ability to profiteer in energy markets isolated from risk or accountability, just like the S&Ls in the 80s. Artful deregulation laws resulted “special purpose entities” being used to create accounting fallacies that made energy companies such as Enron appear to have profits that didn’t really exist, while its accountants hit its debt. Enron’s fraud-based failure wiped out billions in investor wealth and helped contribute to the dotcom recession.

Under President George W Bush, Gramm’s efforts to deregulate banking continued to have impacts on the mortgage industry.

The Secondary Mortgage Industry.

Fannie Mae, an entity set up during the New Deal to create liquidity in the mortgage market, had been spun off in 1968 to become a private corporation. Freddie Mac was created two years later by Congress to end Fannie Mae’s monopoly over the secondary mortgage market by creating competition.

Both functioned to hold mortgages made by banks, allowing the bank to service the mortgage through those entities while handing it off to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in exchange for new capital that could be used to grant additional mortgages. While the mortgages handled by both are explicitly not Federally insured, it is in the interests of the US government to prevent a full collapse of the two companies that hold roughly half of the nation’s $12 trillion in mortgages.

This month, the Federal government took over both under conservatorship, which dismissed their CEOs and board members and installed new directors. The two entities also distributed new shares of common stock to the government. In order to pay for this massive expansion of Federal government into the secondary mortgage industry, the government’s debt ceiling was increased to $10.7 trillion. Taxpayers could end up with tens of billions in liabilities to cover, equivalent to a few months’ of spending on the Iraq war.

Leadership or Political Attacks.

Neither candidate for president has outlined neatly articulated answers for how to solve the complex problem of Federally protected socialist markets that allow investors to get rich on investment gaming and false accounting and then leave taxpayers soaked when their risks turn sour, as happened with S&Ls in the 80s, Enron in the 90s, and today’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

On the day of the takeover, Obama told reporters “Any action we take must be focused not on the whims of lobbyists and special interests worried about their bonuses and hourly fees, but on whether it will strengthen our economy and help struggling homeowners. But we must not allow government intervention to protect investors and speculators who relied on the government to reap massive profits.”

McCain, who is served directly by Phil Gramm and calls himself “fundamentally a deregulator,” announced “today we’re looking at a federal bailout of our home loan agencies,” while his running mate said a “McCain-Palin administration will make them smaller and smarter and more effective for homeowners who need them,” clearly out of touch with what the two entities even are.

Neither McCain nor Obama drew parallels between the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and McCain’s involvement in the Keating 5 push to prevent regulation in the S&L industry up until it fell apart at the Federal government’s expense.

Obama announced yesterday that he would fully support the Bush administration’s efforts to turn the economy around, and in a presentation flanked by Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and Clinton administration officials, announced, “As president, I would say to (Treasury) Secretary (Henry) Paulson and (Federal Reserve Chairman Ben) Bernanke, ‘Do what’s required to make sure that people’s money market accounts are protected. Do what’s required to make sure that small businesses have credit lines to allow them to make payroll. Do what’s required to make sure that the economy is running and that ordinary people are able to go about what they do every single day, which is work hard and support their families.’”

McCain fell into Obama’s trap by releasing a series of political attacks against Obama, seeking to link him to the “do nothing” Congress and accusing him of ties to Fannie Mae; in return, Obama pointed to the former Fannie Mae lobbyists running McCain’s campaign, and the DNC was quick to contrast Obama’s bipartisan efforts to lead with McCain’s unprepared and overreaching political attacks.

Obama, McCain weigh in on financial crisis

Obama on the Mortgage Crisis.

Obama’s web position paper on the mortgage crisis notes that “Over the past several years, ten of the country’s largest mortgage lenders were spending more than $185 million lobbying Washington to let them get away with aggressively selling loosely-regulated, high-risk mortgages.” It also outlines four steps for taking action to stop mortgage fraud and protect homeowners:

1. “Many middle class Americans do not receive the existing mortgage interest tax deduction because they do not itemize their taxes. As a result, primarily wealthy Americans benefit from this homeownership tax incentive. Obama and Biden will ensure that middle-class Americans get the financial assistance they need to purchase or keep their own home by creating a 10 percent universal mortgage credit that give tax relief to Americans who have a home mortgage.”

2. Obama “introduced comprehensive legislation nearly two years ago to fight mortgage fraud and protect consumers against abusive lending practices. Obama’s STOP FRAUD Act provides the first federal definition of mortgage fraud, increases funding for federal and state law enforcement programs, creates new criminal penalties for mortgage professionals found guilty of fraud, and requires industry insiders to report suspicious activity.”

3. “Obama and Biden will create a Homeowner Obligation Made Explicit (HOME) score, which will provide potential borrowers with a simplified, standardized borrower metric (similar to APR) for home mortgages. The HOME score will allow Americans to easily compare various mortgage products and understand the full cost of the loan.”

4. “The 2005 bankruptcy bill, which Barack Obama opposed, is expected to have serious effects on low and middle-income borrowers of subprime mortgages. While investors who own multiple homes and people with vacation homes can renegotiate those mortgages in bankruptcy, current Chapter 13 law requires ordinary families to stick with the original terms of their home loans—regardless of whether the loan was predatory or unfair. Obama and Biden will repeal this provision so that ordinary families do not suffer this unfair treatment.”

Barack Obama and Joe Biden: The Change We Need | Economy
Obama Calls on the Bush Administration to Guarantee Taxpayers Do Not Pay Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CEO Severance Packages | U.S. Senator Barack Obama

McCain on Solving the Mortgage Crisis

In a brief series of overview bullets that don’t outline any specific action, McCain’s website says “No taxpayer money should bail out real estate speculators or financial market participants who failed to perform due diligence in assessing credit risks. Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners and any government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk.”

“Any policy of financial assistance should be accompanied by reforms that promote greater transparency and accountability to ensure we never face this problem again.”

McCain also outlines a plan where “every deserving American family or homeowner will be afforded the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects their home’s market value.”

JohnMcCain.com – McCain-Palin 2008

Other articles on current events:

Imagine Steve Jobs for President
The Big Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Attack
Osama Bin Laden’s Dream of US Economic Collapse
You Know the Drill?
Ten Striking Parallels Between Microsoft and John McCain
Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech
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  • awilensky

    Mcain was not merely covering for Keating, there is ample coverage that exposes Mcain as an architect of the mechanics of the scandal. By all rights, he should have just been finishing up a 25 year jail sentence.

  • http://www.stat.ucla.edu/~jose HG

    Obama has no solutions for this mess. It’s taken all the agents of government to even put a band-aid on it. What’s an Obama campaign machine going to do? What could any campaign do, for that matter?

  • http://www.stat.ucla.edu/~jose HG

    Daniel writes: “and ushered in the Clinton administration, which subsequently presided over the longest peacetime expansion of US history”

    Not because of any anti-deregulatory effort on the part of the Democrats. In fact, Clinton’s success is based on the fact that he worked within the deregulatory framework.

    [Are you advocating the Enron scandal? Did deregulation balance the budget, cut taxes on small business, and project a Federal surplus?

    Clinton signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which passed Congress without a Republican vote. It cut taxes for 15 million low-income families, made tax cuts available to 90% of small businesses, and raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.2% of taxpayers.

    Through the implementation of spending restraints, it also mandated the budget be balanced over a number of years and the US had projected federal budget surplus for the first time since 1969.

    Clinton ended his presidential career with a 65% approval rating, the highest end-of-term approval rating of any President since Eisenhower.]

  • http://www.stat.ucla.edu/~jose HG

    Original post Part 2:
    You also fail to mention Obama’s complicity in all of this. He’s the third largest recipient of Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae contributions…
    http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/07/top-senate-recipients-of-fanni.html

    And, according to Fannie Mae CEO, Daniel Mudd, Obama is the ‘conscience’ of Fannie Mae…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usvG-s_Ssb0

    [“complicity” means being involved with others in illegal activity or wrong doing.

    The fact that FM/FM contributed to Obama’s campaign as the most likely to care about housing for the middle class does not indicate any “complicity” on Obama’s behalf in the bad decisions those running the organizations made. Unless you can point out any intervention Obama made or offered to make to prevent FM/FM from being subjected to regulation (As McCain had in the Keating Five) or any other involvement in wrong behavior, your use of the word complicity is out of line.

    And please, did you even watch the video of the Black Caucus you copied and pasted from some right wing blog? Mudd doesn’t even address Obama, he calls the Black Caucus “the conscience of Congress” and Fannie Mae for “keeping us course on to serve those who need serving the most”.

    You outright lied in your comment. Do you agree with McCain that lying is the way to win the election? Is lying also the way to run the country? I disagree. ]

    [Please do not repost the same comment over and over again. If your goal is to earn those “McCain points” for posting comments on blogs, please do it elsewhere. ]

  • Jesse

    Dan,

    Don’t confuse consequences with intent. Many of these people’s actions are motivated by sincere convictions, not cynical manipulativeness. Their misguided ideas may play conveniently into the hands of the worst kind of criminal opportunists, and there certainly may be some among them who have a complete and malicious awareness of that, but it is a fundamental strategic error to imagine one’s opponent to be entirely bereft of sincerity and good intentions.

    Just sayin’.

  • eldernorm

    Congress people need to be held to a higher standard. And a higher punishment. It is too easy for them to “look the other way” when laws help their friends or supporters.

    Yes, life and government is complex. That does not mean that we can just goof off the leave the problem to others. If we can fly to the moon and return safely, there is no reason why we cannot set up a set of laws and counter balances that work. Greedy politicians need to be labeled with the label they deserve, traitor.

    They are running the country for all of us, not just their rich friends, or themselves. And remember that while complex, government is not Rocket science. :-)

    Just a thought.
    en

  • bilogics

    Today’s Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac is part of a bigger plan developed in the 80′ by think tanks of the Ultra Christian Right. If you play the game of who is who, the reasons and perpetrators behind the crisis become clearly visible in for example the following articles.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10268
    and
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=HUD20080920&articleId=10279
    explain the hows. The reason why this present crisis is really happening and the who’s in the shadow behind it, you can find in a real eye opener piece by Katherine Yurica.
    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/165994-The-Dominionism-Apostasy-The-Despoiling-of-America-by-Christianity-turned-Evil
    The names of all the conspirators are in hi-lighted beautiful in clear blood red… If you are able to connect the dots it give you a great insight why this financial crisis is really happening… It is men made, but for other reasons then you can read in the mainstream media. It is really spooky.

  • mshettles

    Country should have listened to Ron Paul, Obama isn’t the answer. His borderline communist ideology is only going to increase spending, and that’s the problem. But like always, everyone seems to have their head in the sand.

    Douche vs. Turd ’08, pick who will mess this country up a little less.

  • http://murrquan.livejournal.com Murrquan

    I’d been reading The Squandering of America, by Robert Kuttner. And it’s been explaining kind of the same thing, but in needlessly dry and verbose language. Thank you for once again taking a complex technical subject and making it understandable.

  • lehenbauer

    This is from cafehayek.com. One of many pieces of history to remind us that in large part the government caused the subprime meltdown.

    Zero Down!

    Russell Roberts
    More history. A HUD press release from January 2004. Don’t miss the second paragraph of the first sentence:

    BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NEW HUD “ZERO DOWN PAYMENT” MORTGAGE
    Initiative Aimed at Removing Major Barrier to Homeownership

    LAS VEGAS – As part of President Bush’s ongoing effort to help American families achieve the dream of homeownership, Federal Housing Commissioner John C. Weicher today announced that HUD is proposing to offer a “zero down payment” mortgage, the most significant initiative by the Federal Housing Administration in over a decade. This action would help remove the greatest barrier facing first-time homebuyers – the lack of funds for a down payment on a mortgage.

    Speaking at the National Association of Home Builders’ annual convention, Commissioner Weicher indicated that the proposal, part of HUD’s Fiscal Year 2005 budget request, would eliminate the statutory requirement of a minimum three percent down payment for FHA-insured single-family mortgages for first-time homebuyers.

    [Convenient to blame the entire housing market on one element. 95% of homeowners weren’t defaulting. The problem wasn’t home owners not paying, but banks having unregulated access to make bad loans they couldn’t cover. But keep blaming the poor, they’re “gaming the system.”]

  • http://www.adviespraktijk.info Berend Schotanus

    Can we compare 2008 to 1929?

    A century ago, from the 1890’s until 1914, international trade was thriving. This trade was initiated by the industrial revolution and supported by Pax Britannica. Then, caused by World War I, the international trade came to a sudden halt and didn’t return afterward. Early 20th century is a period of nationalism and most nations turned to a policy of protectionism. With international trade gone the realistic value of world economy diminished but expectations were still high. The only way to bring expectations back to a realistic level was a big crisis…

    The best way to explain what makes international trade so important is to look at the Apple business model. Computers (and other electronical devices and software) are designed in California, USA. But the actual manufacturing takes place in China. The final products are shipped to customers worldwide.
    Californian computer designers are better than anyone else in the world. International trade allows them to exchange their skills for other skills or raw products from elsewhere. They are for instance by far not as efficient in manufacturing as the Chines (and not prepared to do it for low wages).
    When international trade falls away Apple would be forced to design, manufacture and sell all of the production within the USA. Which would be possible but not nearly as efficient, so a lot of economic value would be lost.

    The current crisis can be explained by international trade as well. In the 1990’s (just like the 1890’s) international trade exploded, this time because of the end of the cold war and lots of countries entering modern industrialised production. So a lot of value was created and a lot of money was earned in those countries. But instead of spending their money they started saving. And instead of investing their money at home they preferred to invest in the well trusted established western economies, especially USA. So during the 1990’s a huge surplus of saving money entered our world, pulling interest rates down and making it nearly impossible to find investments with some interesting return. So what do you do when interest rates go down? Invest in real estate, so housing prices go up. And when the money stream goes on and on and on? Well, ….

    I’m afraid the only way out is to quietly sit out the crises while allowing economic balance to restore. I fiercely hope early 21th century will not be like early 20th century. I hope we do not fall back in protectionism and find different ways to ease ourselves with the dynamism of international markets.

  • Realtosh

    [Realtosh, do you see any hypocrisy in insisting that I not write about current events and politics on my site… ‘Many posters have made clear that you’ve got a great technology blog here. It’s you’re blog and you’re free to do as you please but throwing politics into the mix seems to upset a lot of people. I can’t be bothered to read that half the readers feel that you’re providing a biased view of politics and the other half seems happy by your political rants.’… and then writing essay length comments about your political opinions? Or do you just like to stifle other’s opinions while going on for days about your own?]

    Why don’t you tell us that Obama is getting more campaign contributions from 1) Wall Street and also from 2) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than McCain. In fact, in a few short years, Obama has become one of the all-time highest beneficiaries of FM/FM special interest contributions to any politician ever.

    McCain has a reputation as a reformer, so he hasn’t been the natural recipient of contributions from these special interests who prefer to give their money to individuals whom they hope to influence.

    [McCain has the reputation of taking money to push deregulation that caused the S&L failure, and then continuing the same deregulation policies that caused Enron and that are at work in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. His ‘reforms’ have been about trying to stop laws and regulations that would police fraud. That’s not reform, it’s more of the same. ]

    It was through McCain’s experiences with the Keating scandal that McCain learned the true nature of special interest influence over our government in Washington. Noticing how those who are influencing our legislators can often be working at cross purposes of our citizenry, he has dedicated his career since then to eradicating the influence of special interests from the legislative process, and reforming Washington.

    As a young legislator, McCain was being showered by lots of special interest money, because newer representatives in the House and Senate often need to learn much about the legislative process and the issues before them. The special interests and lobbyists want to be the ones educating these new legislators. McCain knows the evil of this system first hand and has spent his career to change it. It has been the cause he has been championing above all others. This life long cause, together with his competence and proven instincts in foreign policy, are the two most important reasons why McCain has done historically well with Independent voters.

    [Any examples of this theory? Because what really happened is that McCain continued to do the same thing. And when he realized he couldn’t beat the Bush machine and its fundamentalist base, he picked an unqualified running mate he thought would appeal to the dominionist/fundamentalist base, and gave up his maverick image to put on the George Bush hat. That’s not change, it’s more of the same.]

    At the moment, Obama is the young inexperienced legislator who has the Special Interests showering their dirty money on his campaign. We’ve seen historically that this kind of arrangement is not working for the people. Both McCain and Obama promised to forego the special interest money and elect the public financing route. The showering of Special Interest money has led Obama to reverse of his promise of using public financing to minimize the influence of Special Interests on the election. The right wing of the Republican Party wasn’t too excited about McCain and Obama was being showered with Special Interest money, so Obama figured he’d outspend McCain to buy the election. That doesn’t sound so populist.

    [Obama is on stage outlining his approach to the economy with Warren Buffet and the Clinton administration advising him. McCain is throwing around political attacks, may of which are distractions, distortions or outright lies. ]

    So now both Obama and McCain are spending too much time in fundraisers talking to people who can pay for acess. It would have been better for McCain and Obama to go to Town Hall meetings all across America talking to and taking questions from regular Americans. Thanks Obama for pushing the candidates away from regular folks and toward those who can afford to pay for access. Just doesn’t jive with the rhetoric.

    [Now you’re lying. McCain wanted to subject Obama to his own setup for grilling. Obama has taken his message to huge crowds. And when the debates begin, McCain has demanded a special format for Palin because she can’t debate and doesn’t know what to say. Yet she’s supposed to be ready to run the US. What a joke.]

    Obama is trying to bribe the middle class with $1,000 checks and middle class rhetoric, but his actions show that he is becoming indebted to both the monied Special Interests classes as well as the lunatic move-on liberal gangs. Obama has not joined McCain to call for the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until after the government has to take them over. McCain proposed important reforms and has support of moderate Republicans and a few moderate Democrats.

    [So tax breaks are “bribes” when they involve 95% of America, but they are something else when they’re only given to the rich elite and big oil companies? You are hilarious!]

    Why didn’t Obama join McCain with a caucus of moderate Democrats to support good reform of Big F— Mac and Big F—- Mae for benefit of average Jane and Joe America? Oh yeah, that’s right, 1) Obama was getting lots of money from Big F— Mac and Big F—- Mae and 2) he isn’t a moderate Dem; Obama has the MOST liberal record in the Senate. That’s scary. His record is more liberal than Ted Kennedy — a storied liberal — who has worked with the White House and Republicans on some initiatives, and even more liberal than Biden who has scored as third MOST liberal US Senator.

    [You keep using the word “liberal” without defining what is wrong about it. Without liberal forces pushing back, the country would be a goosestepping fascist police state. We’re most of the way there. And you’re worried about liberals? Wake up dummy, the neocons are the ones to worry about. ]

    Dan, don’t blame the Republicans and Independents for these liberal tags. These liberal record scores were issued by liberal organizations. Dan, you ought to be more familiar with these liberal score cards than most of us. If you want to educate us with which liberal organizations are giving Obama and Biden such good liberal scores is up to you. The only part that I’m concerned with is that these liberal records and policies are not the issues that Joe and Jane American most care about. It amazing how Obama uses middle class rhetoric to shove liberal agenda on the American people. It would be no better than Bush’s compassionate conservatism being overtaken by the Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld agenda.

    [Bush dropped ‘compassionate conservative’ rhetoric as soon as he was elected, leaving Christians disillusioned. Again, for all your talk about liberal scores, you fail to present why we should be in fear of returning to the liberal politics that made the US a great nation in the middle of the century, rather than just thinking it was a great country in the 80s.]

    Replacing one wrong direction with another wrong direction does nothing for Joe and Jane American. Let’s call for lots of Town Hall meetings with Obama and McCain within arms reach of regular Americans. Let’s call for an immediate cessation of fund-raisers immediately. Obama is ahead in funds collected, including those contributions from Special Interests. Being ahead in funds, Obama ought to agree to stopping fund raising and going out and meeting regular Americans.

    Many Americans will likely get disappointed when their $1,000 bribes leads to a government for both the liberal and the monied special interests, at the expense of the average Americans.

    As a novice, Obama has to do a lot of learning on he job. So he is most susceptible to many of these Special Interests, that McCain has been battling, and whose money Obama has enthusiastically embraced.

    That McCain has been resistant to Special Interests, is the reason that many Republicans and Democrats have not been too excited about his candidacy. This is a great reason to vote for the man. The fact that both Daniel Eran Dilger and these lunatic move-on liberal gangs on one side, as well as the NeoCons and Special Interests (both left and right) on the other side, are not too excited about McCain is the very reason that we should all vote for McCain so that neither the left nor the right should hijack our politics.

    Obama has shown that he doesn’t have the stones to go challenge his most ardent supporters.

    These move-on liberal gangs that want to hijack our politics. Obama hasn’t been straight with the American people. When most Americans has admitted that the Surge has been successful, Obama plus the liberal Speaker Pelosi from liberal San Francisco and only a few nut jobs, have not celebrated our victory in the Surge, that has changed the Iraq war in historic proportions.

    [How to you have to time to stuff down all this right wing propaganda bullshit when you’re here writing it all up all the time?]

    Obama and the Democrats, including the liberal Speaker Pelosi from leberal San Francisco, have refused to join the moderate McCain in reforming Bid F—- Mac and Big F—– Mae. Again why would these liberals put Special Interests ahead of the interests of the American people.

    Obama doesn’t want to turn off the spigot of Special Interest money from the bankers here on Wall Street and the liberals in Hollywood and the lobbyists in Washington. Every week Obama is either in New York, LA or Washington at multi-ten- thousand dollar ticketed fund-raisers, often more than once a week. What do all those investment bankers, celebrities and lobbyists have in common with the average American? Very little. What do they expect from Obama in return? More than we can afford.

    Obama doesn’t want to anger his move-on gangs whose free labor he’s hoping to exploit for his get out the vote operations. If he tells the truth to the American people he risks alienating this fringe element that he counts among his most ardent supporters.

    McCain has a record of working with bi-partisan support to advance legislation for the benefit of the American people. Obama in a few short years has taken lots of Special Interest money that McCain wants to take out of the system.

    So remember, THE MORE DILGER SPEAKS AGAINST MCCAIN, THE MORE THE AVERAGE AMERICAN NEEDS TO VOTE FOR MCCAIN. McCain is the only proven reformer, running for President this year. Dilger’s opposition is proof that McCain is American’s candidate.

    [I didn’t realize I held the power to change this election singlehandedly! Thanks for all the uppercase wingnut spaz.]

  • http://murrquan.livejournal.com Murrquan

    I feel that McCain is not an option. I feel that he seems clueless and out of touch, and that his positions on the Iraq War are unconsciencable.

    But I did notice that Obama’s getting more money from the financial lobbyist than he is, and I’m not sure what that means for Obama’s campaign. So far no one has given me a straight answer on that.

  • nikki

    Check this out about McCain: http://www.wmsa.net/People/john_mccain/david_icke.htm

    Didn’t bother to look for the equivalent about Obama, instead here’s some context:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=638447372044116845&hl=en

    Good post Daniel, thanks.

  • NormM

    According to Friday’s report on PBS (Newshour), the FEC records show that McCain has received 10 times as much money from the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbyists as Obama. McCain/Palin are pathological liars.

  • Realtosh

    [Realtosh, do you see any hypocrisy in insisting that I not write about current events and politics on my site… ‘Many posters have made clear that you’ve got a great technology blog here. It’s you’re blog and you’re free to do as you please but throwing politics into the mix seems to upset a lot of people. I can’t be bothered to read that half the readers feel that you’re providing a biased view of politics and the other half seems happy by your political rants.’… and then writing essay length comments about your political opinions? Or do you just like to stifle other’s opinions while going on for days about your own?]

    @ Murrquan

    The guy who the Special Interests feel they can have less influence over is the better choice. Voting with the Special Interests is just more of the same.

    Voting for a reformer with a proven track record of reforming government will give us the best chance of getting a government that we need rather then the government that we deserve.

    [The problem is that McCains “reforms” have centered on his self description of being “fundamentally a deregulator.” He’s not out to reform corruption, but the laws that seek to prevent corruption. That was his role as part of the Keating 5 and the S&L disaster. Did he understand the results of his actions? Apparently not, as last Monday he was insisting that the ‘fundamentals of the economy were strong.’ You have to understand the problems before you can offer to help reform anything.]

    Although not likely, we should vote out as many of the incumbents in Congress and Senate as possible. Vote them all out – Democrats and Republicans. They’ve all just raped our country. We need to stop this oscillating back and forth between one party and the other. We need to have the branches of government divided between the two parties. We were just raped by some of the Republicans, and the Democrats before them. Right now the Democrat leadership is preparing to rape and pillage throughout our land. If the Dems get both branches of government, the Executive and the Legislative, it will get ugly. What our country needs is divided government. That is the best way to insure bipartisan co-operation. All successes will have to be negotiated and will be bipartisan initiatives with a broad base of support and more likely to reflect the will of the people. Giving either party the semblance of a mandate with control of both branches, in a country that is so evenly divided is a recipe for disaster and regret on the part of the American people.

    Anyway, voting for a reformer that has a track record for working in a bipartisan fashion who is often hated by the extreme factions of his own party is preferable to the alternative. The alternative is a candidate with a track record of supporting the most extreme initiatives of his own party, and who doesn’t even have the stones to stand up to the demands of extreme move-on thug gangs in his own party.

    McCain is the reformer. Obama is the one without the stones to be able to look the American people in the eye and admit that the Surge trash-talking was just for political gain and that the course of events in Iraq are almost entirely already determined, barring any major surprise on that front. Luckily for the Surge and some other contemporaneous Petraeus strategies that were implemented in roughly the same timeframe as the Surge, our brave men and women will come home with their heads held high, in victory. The liberals in Congress were hoping to bring the troops home in disgrace. That’s just wrong.

    History may eventually show that Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove may have been wrong to incite the war with Iraq so quickly. But that is no reason to put political gain ahead of our country’s interests and the well being of our troops. 80%+ of Americans feel strongly or very strongly that we should put our country’s interests and the well being of our troops ahead of political gain. That is these people would much rather that we won victory at war, and left a stable environment behind in Iraq. Most of these people would desire the well being of our country more strongly than a preference for either party, whichever it is. This is where McCain was right in supporting the Surge, and other tactics of Patraeus, instead of spreading FUD about Iraq like the Democrat leadership was doing. Obama was complicit in this trash-talking because it “fired up” his thug move-on gangs.

    The few people (less than 20%) who would put losing in Iraq and financial instability ahead of the good of the country are clearly n the minority, and squarely in the fringe liberal faction of the Democrat party. This kind of behavior is bad for our country. Most people would even consider it unpatriotic. Anyone supporting extreme policies such as lose in Iraq as a small minority (less than 20%) and do not reflect the will of the people in the least. These are often the most fervent supporters and participants in these thuggy move-on gangs. Those who espouse support for these wackos are no better than the thugs.

    [Your statistics are BS. The majority of Americans want to get out of the boondoggle war and stop spending $12 billion per MONTH to give China a cheap oil supply. The rest of your comments are just unsubstantiated campaign chatter. And you complain about me touching on politics?]

    To want Cheney/Rumsfeld.Rove out is one thing. You can probably build a broad consensus for that. To want to lose in Iraq and to desire that the financial markets come undone to spite Wall Street, is not something that most Americans would want. The direction of the liberal thugs of the left calling the shots seems equally as dangerous. It’s like burning down the house to get rid of a couple of cockroaches.

    Rushing in a fit of desperation from one wrong direction into another equally wrong direction is not what our country needs.

    Vote for McCain reform. Vote out all Representatives and Senators that are up for reelection. Vote out the Democrats. Vote out the Republicans. Shake things up a little. Bring in some new blood to the Congress under the leadership of a prover leader, who has consistently put the needs of this country ahead of his own gain, especially his political gain. Obama has a record of putting political considerations ahead of the interests of

    Obama is gaming the election properly. Saying and doing the things necessary to try to win the election. Smart for Obama. McCain has trumpeting reform of government, so that if he does win, we can do good things for American in a bipartisan spirit. Smart for America.

    Obama has the good rhetoric. He speaks of bringing us together. His policies say something different. Obama continues his support of extreme liberal policies so that he can maintains his gangs of move-on thugs who will be his get out the vote enforcers.

    Obama used to speak of Hope. Now he follows the Democrat leadership in trash-talking our country. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath. And don’t burn down the house.

    We would have better government if we threw out most of the incumbents in Congress, and started over with lots of fresh blood and can-do spirit. It would be better than the likely, which is a little fiddling at the edges changing just a few Members here and a few Senators there, resulting in a massive change in out government from far-right to far-left in the course of one day. It would be a regret that America would have to live with for four years.

    It would be good to have McCain as a balancing effect, pulling all of us to bipartisan co-operation. McCain is widely likely by Congressional Representative of both parties, especially the level-leaded and pragmatic moderate. He seems to equally disgusts the ultra-liberal and the ultra-right. That would be a step in the right direction in my book. A government for people.

  • geoffrobinson

    Regulation to “keep things fair”? I’m not sure what this means.

    [We regulate traffic with rules and signs and police to help prevent accidents. We regulate everything from food supplies to cable TV to healthcare to car safety and efficiency. And yet you are at a loss to understand why we need laws in the billion dollar security industry to prevent economic disasters like the one we’re in? Are you fucking serious? ]

    The main problem with keeping things fair is that regulators and legislators have no idea what the unintended consequences of their regulations.

    And since people aren’t inherently good (they just aren’t) I’m not going to say regulation should be done away with. The best regulation comes down to adding sunlight to a situation.

    Which brings us to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As someone commented on a previous thread, politicians were pushing these agencies to make loans to people who couldn’t afford them in order to help lower class people, increase home ownership, etc.

    Best of intentions. Part of making things fair.

    You can’t always save people from themselves.

  • http://www.stat.ucla.edu/~jose HG

    Bracketed CommentatoR writes: “[Please do not repost the same comment over and over again. If your goal is to earn those “McCain points” for posting comments on blogs, please do it elsewhere. ]”

    Please don’t confuse trolling for an honest attempt to post something which gets moderated and then deleted for no obvious reason. Maybe you could indicate what qualifies for moderation. It just seems random.

    I’ve posted several times to see it moderated and then deleted. Can you tell me why? I’m not quarreling with you, I respect your opinions. I thought you’d respect mine, but I’m not even saying you have to post what I write.

    Just knowing what you’re rules are would help us and then you wouldn’t misinterpret the intent.

    [If you post a comment that WordPress decides is your first or is too long or has too many links, it may be held for moderation until I get the opportunity to check queued up comments. It may also get marked as spam, meaning I have to go through the hundreds of spam comments that are filtered out every week to see if any real comments were flagged as false positives.

    But neither were happening to you; you were just repeatedly posing the same garbage talking points that are not even true. I appreciate different points of view, but I have a pretty low tolerance for dumping loads of misleading or just plain dishonest propaganda trolls, particularly if you repost it over and over again. ]

  • http://www.stat.ucla.edu/~jose HG

    Bracketed CommentatoR writes: “And please, did you even watch the video of the Black Caucus you copied and pasted from some right wing blog?”

    Actually the video came to my attention from a blog and it’s a C-Span video, hardly anything right-wing about it.

    [wrong, it’s a clip of CSPAN that you a) misrepresented the content of, b) had spliced in right wing nuttery and c) ended with wingnut commentary on Fox that similarly presented specious information as if it were a Keating 5 style controversy ]

  • http://www.stat.ucla.edu/~jose HG

    Bracketed CommentatoR writes: “You outright lied in your comment. Do you agree with McCain that lying is the way to win the election? Is lying also the way to run the country? I disagree. ]”

    I don’t know what you mean ‘I lied’. I’m just sharing information that anyone can look up for themselves, just like you.

    [You posted a link to a video and narrated what it said, except your report was not true. So either you made it up, or you copy/pasted propaganda without watching the video to see if it was even true. Neither would be honest, huh?]

    It’s not so black-and-white. Nationally elected Democrats don’t live in a bubble. You portray them as untouched by what’s going on. That’s a very lop-sided and ultimately fruitless point of view, if ‘change’ is really what you’re advocating.

    That word ‘change’ is so loaded in this election. It’s become apparent that what Obama means by it is just revolving the door between the Republican old guard with the Democratic old guard. It was obvious when the old white Democratic men (Kennedy, Dodd, Carter, et. al) prematurely endorsed Obama and then Obama picked an entrenched politico so old as to harken back memories of the Nixon era.

    Maybe Obama’s ‘change’ began as an idealistic conception, but it’s been turned into a skirt under which a bunch of old white men hope to hide to save their sorry asses.

    You can lump McCain in that group, but at least quit pretending that Obama is anything other than a facade for the well-oiled and monied political establishment. And quit holding Republicans under a different standard than Democrats. They’re all part of the same system. Just watch the Chinese Olympics and you’ll know that.

    [The biggest part of Obama’s ‘change’ campaign is that he organized a campaign based on donations from individuals, not big special interests. That enables him to represent the people, not just say nice things and then actually be beholden to those who paid his way when elected.

    If we were comparing Clinton with McCain, then you could argue that both had been propelled into position by the same old political machines, and we’d have to talk about specifics in there intended policies and be able to doubt whether either would actually do what they promised (Like Bush Sr’s “no new taxes” or Bush jr’s “we cant be arrogant and push things on other nations and do nation building”).

    As it stands, Obama is not only in the unique position to lead without being paid for by the same old special interests, but has also clearly articulated plans to take on the problems that actually matter to most Americans. McCain is just talking about starting new wars and doing more of the same failed politics of Bush. After he woke up to the success Obama was seeing, McCain has rolled out his own BS “change” campaign that is not only lacking in sincerity and short on specifics, but clearly a sham and the guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about when the economy comes up.

    I have no doubt McCain could lead the nation into a series of wars. The main problems are that a) we don’t need to be led into more wars, and b) poor McCain is riddled with cancer and is 72 and has scant likelihood of living through his first term. That would turn the country over to an incompetent petty small town, big spender, who has no clue of the world outside her little church. ]

  • cendrillon

    Hi Daniel,

    Do you know how the proposed 10% universal mortgage credit would work? Is it that 10% of the mortgage is given as a tax credit each year? Or 10% of the mortgage payments are tax deductable? Or income tax is just dropped by 10%?

    Thanks!

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  • http://www.stat.ucla.edu/~jose HG

    Bracketed CommentatoR writes: “But neither were happening to you”

    Obviously you know everything.

  • Ludor

    Jaysis effing Christ, Dilger. I dare to say I agree with every word, although I lack about two thirds of your research, analysis and ‘typing energy.’ I got kind of a question: What is it that makes nice, friendly folks even consider McCain? I would like to understand this better, living outside the US.

  • Realtosh

    @ danieleran

    I suggested that you separate the politics from the tech. Your solution was to write about tech and politics in separate articles. That seems to be acceptable to most of your readers. What you were getting lots of push back on was all the folks complaining that you were throwing politics into your tech articles. It was all that “yes you should, no you shouldn’t” that I didn’t want to keep interrupting my reading of the comments in the tech articles.

    You left out the part where I wrote that it’s your blog and you’re free to do as you please.

    You also left out the part where I suggested that no one hold their breath waiting for you to stop writing about politics because it is obviously a passion of yours, apart from your other passion about Macs.

    I will rail about liberal politics, because as a moderate Independent I think ultra liberal politics are the wrong policies for our country.

    If you were writing crap here supporting the Rumsfeld/Rove/Cheney and the NeoCons, you would get push back from me as well.

    You’re writing crap supporting liberal politics so I going to provide balance and push back there as well. You seemed more emotional and less reasoned when writing about and responding to political commentary, at least at first.

    This was clearly not your best work. You’re improving on that front as well. It seems like you’re trying to get some reasoned rigor into political discourse, that was sorely lacking as recently as 1-2 weeks ago.

    An intellectual discussion of the politics of the day is quite fine in my book. I was quite disappointed when you reacted very negatively to a comment of mine the other day that was in a similar style to your own discourse but just happened to not support your own views. I chalked it up to pre-surgery anxiety.

    The comment was only an attempt to try to understand that, while your views differed from the majority of the American people, you did not seem to understand that a majority of Americans’ political views do not match up with the views of the ultra-liberal San Francisco politics.

    I compared you to some of the Windows shills because your emotional ranting and the bizarre replies seems more like their work than the quality of the writing and discourse that I have come to expect at RDM. Like i’ve said, you seem to be improving on that front.

    I’m just trying to add to the intellectual discourse. Your blog will be better for it.

    House Speaker Pelosi is clearly at the extreme of mainstream political thought in this country. You clearly represent the same school of thought. It don’t what’s in the air in San Francisco, but being in the extreme 20% of political discourse puts that school of thought as far from center as the neocons politics that you hate so much.

    You seem to forget that most people are at neither extreme, but somewhere in the middle. A majority of this country is neither strongly NeoCon nor Strongly UltraLiberal. Those are extreme positions at the periphery of the political spectrum.

    The liberals are hoping to use the “get the bums out” mood” in the country to usurp power and shove policies down our throats that many Americans may not necessarily want.

    When the war in Iraq was not going well because of Rumsfeld’s incompetence, all the Americans saw, was the violence and casualties on TV. So Americans wanted out of a losing war.

    Now that the situation on the ground in Iraq is stable, and we are not losing as many servicemen and women as before, Americans seem more willing to get out of Iraq in an calm and orderly fashion that preserves that gains that our troops achieved.

    Rumsfeld was wrong because he didn’t listen to or Generals. On the contrary, he shoved policy down their throats that they were pushing back against him privately. One of the major reservations I have about Obama is that solely for political reasons, he kept calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq no matter the conditions on the ground and no matter the consequences for our country. And he hadn’t even met with the generals to consult with their needs, no, no our needs — because we all want to win.

    Rumsfeld showed us how stupid it is to shove policy down the throats of our country’s best generals. I just don’t want more of the same from Obama. It isn’t even a liberal/ not liberal question. It’s more an arrogance of knowing military strategy better than a group who has spend decades preparing to lead our troops and to advise our civilian leaders.

    I don’t want to go back to that, especially not with the extra burden of liberal policies to boot. I don’t want more of the same, but just from the other extreme of politics.

    If Bush had not been complicit in allowing the NeoCons to have a disproportionate influence on policy, we would not be having this discussion.

    The logic is very clear. That one extreme political view is off base and doesn’t reflect the will of the majority of the people doesn’t mean that an equally extreme political view at the other end of the political spectrum is not equally off base and also not reflective of the will of the majority of the people.

    Bush – less experienced younger candidate for President who selected an older more experienced VP (Cheney)

    Obama – much less experienced younger candidate for President who selected an older more experineces VP (Biden) – although neither has any executive experience at all

    Bush – runs on a moderate message but his record was much less moderate, although he had a record of working with a Democrat legislature in Texas creating bipartisan cooperation

    Obama – running on a moderate message, although his record shows he is much more extreme. Being called the most liberal Senator by liberal organizations is not moderate, no matter how nice your speeches and sound bites may be. Plus Obama not only has no bipartisan executive experience, he has no executive experience and no bipartisan experience, even in the legislature. You don’t get labeled most liberal by the liberal organizations by “working with the enemy.”

    Except, most Americans want there to be bipartisan co-operation. The hate that the two parties can’t seem to play nice together.

    Obama, in this respect would just be more of the same.

    Rove’s push of politics away from center created the opening that may let liberals push politics too far in the other direction.

    Going in another wrong direction would just be more of the same.

    Good luck to you Dan. Thanks for separating the tech from the politics. I am personally interested in both also. The mixing in the hybrid articles just wasn’t working.

  • geoffrobinson

    “Keeping things fair” is still a useless phrase to me because fair is in the mind of the beholder. Is it fair that smart people do better on tests than dumber people?

    Do outcomes need to be desired outcomes? What is the purpose of a regulation?

    To me, the best regulations prevent people from having information disadvantages. In other words, tell me exactly what I’m getting into and don’t hide anything.

    And if someone accepts the risk of something, don’t protect them from themselves.

  • gus2000

    I’m a top-dog, USDA-prime, PETA-certified carnivore. But your picture of a cheeseburger looks disgusting. I’m off to have an Odwalla.

    The deregulation crowd should be hanging their heads in shame. But somehow this crisis is because of *too much* liberal regulation? Huh? And the party of anti-government and anti-regulation is gonna fix it? What?!?

    Remember when Matthew Modine played a liberal on-the-run in an 80’s-era SNL skit? Back then, Reagan had managed to make “Liberal” a dirty word that could be hurled like an insult upon anyone that suggested a role for Government. If you ask me, the word “Conservative” has now taken on that meaning, but with more of slant toward “too incompetent to lead”.

    As a brand, the GOP has lost all luster, and Obama’s charisma is about to put the sheen back on the Liberal tag. It’s cool to be Liberal. Conservatism is for old farts. Liberalism is back, baby.

    FREE LEVI

  • RobertR

    “How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aSKSoiNbnQY0

    “…in 2005 Alan Greenspan told Congress how urgent it was for it to act in the clearest possible terms … “We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.”

    “What happened next was extraordinary. For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee.”

    “But the bill didn’t become law, for a simple reason: Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn’t even get the Senate to vote on the matter.”

    “But we now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years … Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd”

    “Oh, and there is one little footnote to the story that’s worth keeping in mind while Democrats point fingers between now and Nov. 4: Senator John McCain was one of the three cosponsors of S.190, the bill that would have averted this mess.”

    [Now please post how this ‘reform’ bill was actually supposed to solve the issues of corruption and bad lending when McCain was anti-regulation, and also how it is that McCain and the lobbyists running his campaign were taking huge sums of money from FM/FM as well.

    I’m not blindly defending democrats or their party; most of the Keating 5 Senators in the S&L scandal were democrats. McCain was not of course. The problems I’m pointing out are not all democrat vs republican. This race really comes down to intelligent and reasoned and educated vs. a celebration of bullshitting, emotional/fear/religious zealotry, and contempt for anyone “elite” enough to have an education in the law. Obama vs McCain is not left vs right, but “working to be smart” vs. “coyly pretending to be an idiot you could drink a beer with and shoot moose.” ]

  • gus2000

    The above hatchet piece was written by Kevin Hassett, a senior fellow at the think tank American Enterprise Institute. He advised President Bush in his campaign, and he currently serves as a senior economic adviser to the John McCain 2008 presidential campaign.

    This genius coauthored the book “Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting From the Coming Rise in the Stock Market”. It was published in 1999 before the dot-com bubble burst, predicting that the Dow would rise to 36,000 by 2004. (I hope none of you playing at home took his investment advice.)

    The American Enterprise Institute is one of the most vocal opponents of climate science, casting doubts upon their credibility as well.

  • http://www.blue-ember.com Steffan

    This article was exactly what I was hoping for in my comment to your previous article. Keep it up! This is the style of writing I’ve come to respect from RDM, and am glad to see it in this context. You haven’t changed my vote, but you do highlight some genuine shortcomings of the Republican candidate, and truthfully, you’ve put your finger on some of the things that made conservatives uncomfortable with him in the first place. As you correctly point out, conservatism is supposed to be about less and smaller government. If he had the force of such convictions, he would come out against this truly crazy bailout plan and the treasury secretary (who has been wrong on almost every point about this hole mess). It would be much more true to his reformer, straight-talk campaign to simply say: things are gonna be rough in the short term, but we’re not going to do capitalism on the way up and socialism on the way down.

    Also, it’s not the main point of your article, but I do think you’re not really fair to Reagan. The USSR was more than an imagined threat, and on balance his economic policy could hardly be described as socialism, even for the rich. We could go into that, but it’s probably not fruitful.

    @gus2000- “The American Enterprise Institute is one of the most vocal opponents of climate science” Talk about unfair. As an organization, their stance is clearly one of questioning the theory of global warming, not opposition to “climate science.” The merits of their case on that topic don’t have any bearing on whether their points an article on this similarly complicated subject can be so easily dismissed.

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  • Baroosk

    **I said it!***

    Ask my family! I made the S&L connection to the current Fiasco. Both due to deregulation.

    I called the whole family this weekend to tell ’em all.

    Now of you (a damn good hack in Frisco) and me ( a damn good teacher from Alaska) can figger these connections out, Why can’t the “news” media?

    Sheesh. It seems like the expansion fo the media in the 90’s has left REAL journalists out in left field and the loudest, talkiest heads getting the screen time.

    Just a few cents worth of opinions.

    from North Pole

    *and Palin’s been a good govn’r so far. But I don’t want her half a step from the Presidency.

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